When asked what she hopes the world will look like 20 years from now, the response from 13-year-old Bella Burgemeister is clear:

“I hope to be living in a world where our leaders act like leaders and children can have a childhood and not have to take to the streets to demand a future,” she says. “Renewable energies will power our planet and the wealthiest countries work to help the poorer countries rise up so we can all be one global community.”

So how, as a group of Australia’s leading environmental educators, can we support and drive the significant changes needed to achieve Bella’s long-term vision? In this issue we explore the theme of Active Nature and take a look at the role of activism in education initiatives and the importance of active citizenship in achieving a sustainable world. With the 34th NSW Environmental Education Conference happening on 3-5 October, some of the country’s brightest minds will converge to discuss these crucial issues (pages 5 and 6).

This issue features an insightful Q&A with environmental presenter, climate activist and author Bella Burgemeister from Millenium Kids (page 3). We take a look at the concept behind Bringing Back the Butterflies project (page 4) and reflect on three decades of change-making with OzGREEN (page 7). Dr. Peta White, who will be giving the Allen Strom Lecture at the NSW Conference, reflects on her involvement with AAEE and her rewarding role working with our teachers of tomorrow (page 12). As always, there are a range of fantastic stories from our committed and passionate members who are focussed on creating positive change for the future. We hope you enjoy this issue.

Justine McClymont

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About ozEEnews

ozEEnews is the member publication for the Australian Association of Environmental Education. Published quarterly it showcases member stories and projects from around the country highlighting advances in environmental education sector.